People Who Wake Up At 5 AM Explain Why They Do That

Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. But generally, for most people, it makes them stupid, and blind in the eyes. Childish slogans aside, most humans love their sleep and are hard to separate from their beds in the morning, weekdays, or weekends. So when one hears that someone gets up at the crack of dawn, it generally gets some attention.

Perhaps this is why one netizen asked early rises why they do it. The internet gave a mix of answers, from early birds to necessity. We also got in touch with the netizen who asked the original question. So if you are in bed, savor it, scroll through, and be sure to upvote your favorites. And if you are an early riser, or know one, comment below and tell us why. 


I get up at 5:30. I can have most of my day done by 8 am when normal people get up, meaning I can get things done a lot quicker since nobody else is about to interrupt or distract.

On days off I do the same, the gym is dead, Starbucks is dead, I can have all my housework etc done by 8am when I have breakfast and then the day is mine to do whatever I want with.

I put endless stock in peace, everything is peaceful at 6am, nothing is peaceful at 9:30.

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My job is an hour away and I still need about an hour to cry in the shower.

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Age. As a teenager I could sleep all weekend. From about 30 I never needed an alarm clock as I would always wake up before I needed to. At around 40 I started waking up around 0630 and it gets earlier every year. I'm now almost 60 and am generally awake around 0430 and up and running by 0500 regardless of how late I go to bed. If this trend continues I will be getting up before I've gone to bed.

There are times like weekends when I wish I could sleep in but overall I enjoy being up early. Sunrise, coffee and peace are nice.

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Bored Panda reached out to That_Late_Bloomer who created the original thread to hear their thoughts. We wanted to know why they were inspired to ask this question in the first place. "I was just bored.I myself wake up at 5 am every day." Naturally, we also wanted to learn why they were an early riser. "I was a very lazy person until a month back I decided to change my habits for good. I now wake up at 5 am as a challenge to train myself to get out of my comfort zone. Actually, my body is not designed for an early bird. I am a night owl. But, you know, you gotta learn to adapt to new things whether it be physically or psychologically. So I am on my journey to become a better version of myself."

Unsurprisingly, the concept of an “early bird” comes from the old proverb “the early bird catches the worm,” which dates back to the 17th century. Anyone who has lived in an area with lots of birds can attest that they are quite early risers, often making a racket and waking entire households in their pursuit of, presumably, worms. Not the most appetizing thought to start a morning off with, but it’s the truth. 

To continue with bird-based metaphors, some people can be described as “larks,” another bird notorious for its early morning ways. The opposite would be an owl or a “night owl.” In general, the human population is quite balanced, with a relatively equal distribution of early birds and night owls and everyone who falls in between. 


Can’t help it. I Naturally wake up around then. I like it tbh, everyone else is mostly asleep too so it’s a peaceful way to enjoy a coffee and wake up at your pace

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Dog can't seem to understand we sleep in on the weekends!

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I’m a light sleeper and naturally wake up from light. Also once I’m awake it’s very difficult for me to fall back to sleep.

Image credits: Soliart

Despite this distribution, humans have quite commonly been under the impression that waking up early is important, despite the difficulties, hence the plethora of advice telling people to do it. Aristotle wrote that “Rising before daylight is also to be commended; it is a healthy habit, and gives more time for the management of the household as well as for liberal studies,” while the quote from the introduction is credited to Benjamin Franklin. 


My cat politely lays on my neck until I wake up…

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By 6:30 AM there is already gridlock on the way to work. I go in early and get off early, beating the rush hour traffic both ways.

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I, like many people, typically have to be at work around 8. If I wake up at 5, I'm able to give MYSELF time before I give it to my employer. Before I even step out the door to go to work I have time to read, make a nice breakfast, exercise, and maybe work on a personal project for a bit. It honestly just puts me in a better mood going into the day.

Image credits: Goldtac

This creates a strange paradox, where a person who sleeps in, whether out of tiredness or a sleep disorder, is often seen as lazy, even though most of us would enjoy a few more minutes every morning to sleep. While schooling is supposed to pave the way for a career, teenagers do need more sleep than adults, so forcing them to wake up like a worker at a regular 9-5 is actually detrimental


I’m a barista. I make other people coffee before I can have coffee.

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S**t needs doing

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Seriously, my wife does this. Up at 4 most mornings.

Personally, I'm useless if I don't get my seventeen hours of sleep.

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Others listed outside factors that “forced” them to wake, like the aforementioned birds or simply the light of day creeping in. These are referred to as “zeitgebers,” or “time givers,” from German, and are indicators that your body reads to understand what time it is. Some are passive, like sunlight, but mealtimes are an example that we can control ourselves. This is why people are encouraged to try to be consistent with when they eat. 


Do you think I’m doing this on purpose?

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The way I brew my coffee and make a morning smoothie takes a bit of time, and I like to watch the sun rise

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Older now, so going to bed 9ish is typical and 0500 is habitual. Sunrises and sunsets double bubble. Draw back is when friends come to visit and want to stay out late so lots of coffee/espresso. Another plus are earlier dinner times and food quality is better (staff less busy and can focus on your order), not out with folks who may have partied too hardy, relaxed pace.

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On a larger scale, this is actually visible in sports. The home team advantage has a lot of facets, but one is that the other team has to travel, disrupting their circadian rhythm. This can mean the opposing athletes bodies are taking on nutrition, sleeping and even playing at accustomed times. It’s most visible when one time is at least three hours (time zone-wise) away from the other, as closer distances aren’t nearly as disruptive. 


I like the quiet and alone time of the early morning… allows a couple of hours of doing what I want and no one interrupting or distracting me

Allows me to set the pace of the day also, slow and steady and take my time, rather than rushing around

The absolute best is just sipping my coffee in peace and quiet though

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I have more time to f**k around

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On my days off, I get up between 5:00 and 6:00 AM, so I can skate as the sun rises and the heat isn't intolerable. It's a great way to center myself.

Image credits: KresblainTheMagician


For whatever reason, it’s easier for me to wake up REALLY early in the morning (3 am to 6 am) then later on in the morning. If I wake up at 5 am, I have time to catch my breath and move slowly into the day, and I generally am buzzing with energy by 6 am. If I wake up at 7 am, especially in the summer when it’s already light out, I feel behind, stressed, etc and that just makes me lay in bed longer.

Knowing this, about three years ago I started working at a bakery where shifts start at 4 and 5:30. It’s always funny to me how some of my coworkers, while present and doing their jobs, clearly aren’t full awake until 8 or 9, whereas I on the other hand am talking a mile a minute the second I get in the door and I haven’t even had coffee yet. It’s also funny because even as a really little kid I had a reputation of being able to sleep forever. I slept until 2 pm as a teenager most weekends if my parents didn’t notice. I think my internal rhythm is just off but waking up super early is the only thing between me getting up and living my life and languishing depressed in bed all day.

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Started off not being able to sleep in. I'd desperately like to at least a few times a month, but my brain just wakes up around 5. So, instead of being pisssed off every morning that I can't sleep, I've learned to take that time to myself and enjoy it. It's actually really nice.

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I work for a living and my job requires I be there by 6am.

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K I D S.

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Workout before work.

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Raving insomniac 4 hours most nights 5 now and again.

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No chaos for the day, the day becomes peaceful...

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I wake up at 5am because somehow it makes my day longer and I get around 2 hours extra than those who don't.As a result, my day goes smoothly and I am likely to carry out my routine on time without worrying about getting late.

I do sleep early ofc.

Image credits: That_Late_Bloomer


There’s a small human that pokes me in the eye and says “mommy up” until I get up and make her toast.

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More importantly, how?

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I go to sleep at 5pm

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One of 2 reasons, I either can't sleep or I'm going for a run before work.

I think my body has adjusted to decide I'm getting up at 5 every day now.

Image credits: bacongrift